The horrors of the Somme during World War I and two fun and immersive theatrical productions for early learners take to the region’s stages through the coming weeks as DG Arts Live continues its programme of bringing live performance art to Dumfries and Galloway.

From Wee Stories Theatre comes The Man who followed his Legs (and kept on walking), a celebration of human resilience, following the story of two young Scottish coalminers during World War 1. The death, loss and mayhem of the trenches forces Johnny to follow his legs (and keep on walking) to rediscover a reason for living.

Funny, entertaining and moving, Wee Stories bring their distinctive brand of storytelling to this rich production, based on the involvement of the Hearts football Battalion in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Video images, puppetry, music and performance vividly bring alive the enormity of this first global conflict for a new generation of young people.

Suitable for ages 10 to adult, The Man who followed his Legs (and kept on walking comes to Dalry Town Hall on Friday, 28 October, at 7pm, and to the Johnstonebridge Centre on Saturday, 29 October at 7pm.

Coming up this month, Cutured Mongrel Dance theatre will present its regional tour of Experts in Short Trousers,  an original and immersive dance theatre work celebrating the knowledge and skills of early learners.

This is a fun and colourful promenade theatre piece with live percussion, dancing and play for children aged four plus and their families and a unique opportunity to discover and explore the magic of dance.

Designed by Claire Halleran and choreographed and directed by Emma Jayne Park, Experts In Short Trousers celebrates the knowledge and skills young primary school children already have. The young audience arrives to a disaster. The cast, extra costume and set are strewn everywhere. Having never ventured to earth before, the cast need to be taught how to move, what to wear and how to build their escape vehicle, using all of this information to build impressive routines and tell their own unique story.

Experts in Short Trousers comes to Annan Museum on 21 October, at 11am and 1pm; to Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, on 22 October at 11am and 1pm; and to the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm, on 25 October at 11am and 2pm.

A production for the very young exploring how the world around us is created from different shapes, textures and materials comes in the shape of Starcatchers and Branar Theatre’s The Shape of Things on Wednesday, 16 November, in St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, St Mary’s Street, Kirkcudbright at 10:15 am; Thursday, 17 November, in Thornhill Community Centre, at 2pm; and Saturday, 19 November, at Gracefield Arts Centre, at 11am 2pm.

Working with Branar Artistic Director Marc MacLochlainn, Ailie Cohen (Cloudman, The Secret Life of Suitcases) will create a special environment that the children and their parents and carers will enter. This environment will be filled with textures, colours and shapes designed to stimulate and engage the children.

The audience meets two performers and a playful puppet called Cubert, a curious cube whose job it is to rearrange the shape of the world.

Set in a soft and tactile environment, and designed for children aged six months to two years and their adults, this interactive story is told through puppetry, object theatre, music and sound.

Tickets to all these events are available from the Midsteeple Box office and for further information, visit www.dgartslive.org.uk

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